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Be like Peaches: Support Head & Hands in getting their Street Work program back!

Posted by Amie / December 7, 2012

head-hands-contestHave you ever wanted to change the world with the click of a mouse? Impossible, you might say... but not today: from now until Wednesday, you can help make a real difference for at-risk youth in your very own community, just by sitting in front of your computer. An unfathomable idea? Click here, then read on!

If you don't know about Head & Hands already, here's the deal: the organization started in the '70s in N.D.G. with a small Street Work program, meeting with young folks in the community and acting as a support to marginalized youth in addressing their basic needs. Fast forward 40 years, and you have a well-established, trusted community organization that offers a wide array of health, legal, and social services to youth in N.D.G. and across the city. They're basically all-stars of awesome service provision: harm-reductive, queer-positive, and at the core of all their programming is the belief that youth play an essential role in effecting positive change in their own lives. The worlds of many thousands of individuals who have been touched by the decades of Head & Hands' greatness are a testament to the power of the work going on there.

Sadly, the Street Work Program - which met the needs of youth most at risk who might be struggling with basic housing needs, income stability, food security, and health care - lost its funding last year. The organization is currently rebuilding to secure long-term funding, but in the meantime they have entered an online contest for up to $87,000 in funds. That cash could kick-start a heck of a lot of great work, which would in turn meet a heck of a lot of needs that are currently just not being met now. "What kind of needs do these youth have?" you might ask. "Why don't they just go to a CLSC or something?" You might not know, but our systems for providing basic needs are kinda-sorta (huge understatement) broken. Youth homelessness - and the related issues that don't always come hand in hand with the lack of an actual roof over one's head - is much huger an issue in Canada than it's often given voice. Systemic gaps (in health and social services, through the education systems, in community support) leave a fair number of young people out in the cold, both metaphorically and literally. Street Work fills this void: Street Workers connect with youth where they are - in the community, on the streets - to support them in making healthier choices. They also provide essential HIV and Hep C prevention with clean needles and condoms, as well as safer-drug use and safer-sex education. With the funding from Aviva, these services could get up and running almost immediately.

Be like Peaches and that adorable baby: Vote for Head & Hands!

Are you sold on this cause yet? We could say vote for Head & Hands because it's a better cause than the other causes, or because it'll make puppies cry if you don't. But that's just not the case. Vote for Head & Hands because it provides an absolutely stellar, unique, and much-needed service to Montreal's youth. VOTE HERE!

Vote once a day until next Wednesday, and if you're feeling extra awesome, help spread the word by putting the link on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, or Friendster account (because, hey, old people can vote, too!)

Text by Margot En, collaboratrice extraordinaire.

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